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A revised history for Toronto cinema's earliest years would place a renewed emphasis on some of the threads running through Peter Morris's seminal Embattled Shadows-those threads of cinema practice that emphasize exhibition, distribution, and audiences rather than An understanding of these practices draws on areas of social, urban, intellectual, and business history, as much as on production The growing body of international theoretical work in early cinema, for example, Tom Gunning's "cinema of attractions" thesis and Andr Gaudreault's archeology of spatial and temporal logic in films of the period, provides a framework for this broader understanding of film history. Others have begun to look at audiences in terms of region, class, race, and gender. For example, Mary Carbine's study of black audiences in Chicago's South Side shows how exhibitors with specific community-or race-consciousgoals could deflect or diffuse the forces of dominant cinema. In another context, Gregory Waller has shown how exhibitors could program around notions of moral and middle-class uplift in the "high class Chatauquas" of Michigan and Other scholars working in the field of national cinemas, such as the British theorist Andrew Higson, have also argued for a shift in focus and called for a cinema history that breaks from production as the

Peter Morris appropriately emphasizes the importance of Canadian people, places, and events within cinema's earliest years. For instance, his discussion of the Holland Brothers, Peter and John Griffin, John Green, and Leo Ernest Ouimet demonstrates their contributions to lively film cultures, based on distribution and exhibition, in Ontario and Quebec. And to some extent these people are symbolic of the possibilities for Canadian cinemas. Perhaps unwittingly, however, Morris also leaves readers with a sense that following the war, these pioneering efforts were easily swept aside by the hurricane of stronger forces from the ., especially in the form of Adolph Zukor's Famous Players. His focus then shifts to production, especially the brief flurry of postwar activity centred in Trenton, Ontario. Historians of political economy, such as Manjunath Pendakur in Canadian Dreams and American Control, who for good reason have analysed the overall dependency of Canadian cinema, may perceive these early cinema practitioners as compradors, agents of the imperial machines of distribution and How else could they operate, if there were no Canadian culture and no sense of a different society? Then, following the war, at the time when Canada's painters and writers were flourishing, so the argument goes, Canadian cinema frantically launched its short burst of production, only to slip suddenly and forever into dependency on foreign sources of production and distribution.

Producing one's own films has rightly been cited as a key moment in national cinema-hence, we search for the first Canadian-location actualities (Niagara Falls, 1896, Lumire or Edison), the first story film (Hiawatha, 1903, Joe Rosenthal), the first feature (Evangeline, 1913, Canadian Bioscope), the first Canadian documentaries (James Freer's Prairie recruitment films, 1897). These certainly provide crucial markers of cultural importance and business acumen. Notwithstanding these artistic firsts, must we tie a Canadian film culture to production alone? After all, these Canadian cinema milestones hardly registered among the thousands of foreign films then showing. Or can we find evidence of a healthy cinema infant in the exhibition, distribution, and, above all, reception practices in the "prewar" period? For those earliest years, prior to a more fully self-conscious national culture, is there evidence of a population "living on both levels at once," as colonials and as conscious Canadians, with audiences happy to celebrate the overlap?

The sounds of early Toronto cinema provide a rich terrain for exploring these themes. The music, musicians, the ambient crowd, and the film lecturer constitute significant sound practices. This strange cacophony, I would argue, provides evidence of a Canadian flavour or dialect: the locally-trained musicians, with Canadian songs in their repertoire, playing instruments made in Toronto, Oshawa, or Kingston, by the firms of Nordheimer, Williams, or Weber; the singalong tunes known by musicians and audiences alike; the local lecturers, specialists in boxing, the military, or religious matters-learned, or merely chattering-working the spectators/listeners as only an insider

There is strong circumstantial evidence of Canadian popular music surrounding the exhibition of films in Canada. From the beginning, Canadian visual content appeared in a small percentage of films, including one-minute films on Niagara Falls, the Rockies, rural Qubec, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), Canadian troops leaving for the Boer War, the 1897 Massey agricultural machines, canoes, fires and fire departments, and, near the end of the period (1909-1914), in the Lyman Howe programs at the Royal Alexandra Canadian musicians played in the theatres, and the local scene was lovingly nurtured by Toronto music teachers throughout the entire period. (Saturday Night and the daily Toronto World from 1900 include dozens of ads from music teachers looking for students.) Ontario was home to several piano, organ, and instrument makers and to sheet-music publishers, such as the Heintzman, Williams, and WhaleyRoyce These manufacturers were healthy and well organized enough to maintain their own trade paper, the monthly Canadian Music and Trades Journal, founded in 1900. Also well organized was the Toronto Musicians Union, founded in the 188Os and active in the 1912 musicians' Finally, Canadian popular songs were composed, sung in public, and purchased in sheet-music form. Two of the best-known composers were Alexander Muir, who wrote "The Maple Leaf Forever," and the inimitable Herbert Henry Godfrey, who penned "Pride of the North," "Johnny Canuck's the Lad," "Soldiers of Canada," "Way Up in Fair Muskoka," and many other songs. What piano accompanist could resist Godfrey's "Land of the Maple," which sold 77,000 copies in ten months?14

In addition to brisk sales for Canadian sheet music, illustrated song slides and popular tunes were regular attractions in theatres and at several outdoor venues, including Hanlan's Point, Scarboro Beach, and Munro Park. Operators at these locations advertised regularly during the years 1897-1900. Therefore, it seems inevitable these songs were played in Toronto theatres, where a lone pianist, or perhaps the popular D'Alesandro Orchestra, might extemporize during Canadian-content films featuring, for example, the 1904 Toronto Fire (George Scott, 1904), the CPR, Toronto Islands canoe races, Canadian troops leaving for war, and the ubiquitous Niagara Falls. On the other hand, playing songs regarded as pro-German could bring police interference and

If the sound practices of early cinema, with their juxtaposition of silent screens and noisy accompaniment from musicians and audience, seem strange to us today, perhaps strangest is the film lecturer, a person who talked not only before and after, but during the picture. Of these, Owen Smily was perhaps the best known in Canada. Prior to his film days, Smily had travelled extensively with the First Nations poet, Pauline Johnson, helping to establish her reputation as one of the country's best-known writers and performers. Their travels began in Ontario, but later ranged throughout the Maritimes, western Canada and the western United States. Johnson biographer Betty Keller describes Smily as a trained stage artist, with five years' experience in British music halls, and a master of ventriloquism and dialects. "He especially delighted his audiences by imitating the drone of the Scottish bagpipes."16 Smily and Johnson often performed one- or two-act stage versions of Johnson's better-known stories.

After splitting from Johnson in December 1897, Smily next appears in 1899, as director of the Owen A. Smily School of Elocution and as a film lecturer and presenter. Newspaper ads and reviews highlight only the unusual, high-profile events, not his more routine lecture appearances accompanying film presentations. For these more prominent functions his specialty was the imperial and the patriotic, as well as the comic. Toronto newspapers announced and reported on a few of Smily's more significant engagements. On 13 june 1899, according to the Toronto Star, Smily gave "recitations" at the Association Hall on the Biograph film, Pope Leo XIII, and on "great personages and events of the day." Later, on 27 june, a Star reviewer enthused, "The views are appreciated more every day being described and located by Mr. Owen Smiley [sic]." And on 27 February 1900 the Daily Telegraph reported that "large and delighted audiences were further enhanced [sic] by Mr. Owen A Smiley's [sic] new and humourous musical sketches."

The variety of performance functions assigned to Smily, such as describer, locater, enhancer, and explainer, may have been the lexical inventions-or confusions-of reviewers, or just as likely, a vocabulary supplied by Smily himself. We might assume that Smily performed his recitations before and after the films; whether he spoke during the projection remains unclear. If that were the case, the timing of his narration would have required some rudimentary rehearsals or perhaps signals to the musicians. This too remains unknown.

When he toured with the patriotic Biograph compilation program, Canada's Brave Sons, in 1900, Smily was billed as an elocutionist. In Winnipeg, for example, he opened the show with his recitation, "Britisher and Boer."17 Although such a poem might seem to modern sensibilities to undercut a growing "Canadianness," this ironic nationalism certainly carried the day in the Ontario press. Canada gained in stature and recognition, so the argument went, by becoming an enthusiastic contributor to the

Other lecturers, such as the well-known Billy Ramsay, received newspaper billing as well. Ramsay specialized in sports, mainly boxing, providing a sort of "colour commentary"-perhaps, alas, the Don Cherry of his era. Ramsay didn't always get the respect accorded Smily, however:

The Canadian interests which sent the [1897 Corbett-Fitzsimmons prize fight] pictures through this country employed as lecturer to recite the various incidents-to act as ringside reporter so to speak-a well-known singer and entertainer . Ramsay, who enlivened proceedings during the waits involved in readjusting the different sections of the film, and discoursed learnedly on the fight itself. Towards the end of the season, the film became worn and torn, and Ramsay, in order to cover this defect, used to say in his opening speech describing the meeting at Carson, "Later in the day it began to snow." At Halifax he was somewhat upset when a man in the gallery who recalled the weather conditions shouted, "You're a damn liar."19

Smily and Ramsay may well have been chosen to talk with the films because they were well-known, but also because they could link the film content to a specific, local audience. The strongest sense of a local, particularly Ontario, flavour to these film presentations might well have arisen during the Biograph program when Smily "lectured to" the images of Toronto's 48th Highlanders Regiment parading out from the downtown Stanley (The 48th band was often used as music backup to military films, and as an advertising draw, especially for programs at Massey Hall.) Smily, a local, would certainly know the streets and be able to identify the route of the parade, and perhaps he was knowledgeable enough to comment on specific officers and men in the shots. Here then would be the brief taste of national cinema, embedded in local performance, albeit an especially tasty treat for Empire enthusiasts to savour.

Drawing on performance theory, one might argue that because music and lecturing played such key roles in early cinema (especially during the "cinema of attractions" period before 1906, dominated by spectacle, actuality, the acting codes of melodrama, and direct address), a film takes on a more complete meaning once it has been seen and heard in a specific The musicians, lecturer, projectionist, exhibitor/manager, and socially-inscribed audience thus perform the film, in what is inevitably a local dialect or flavour. This temporallyand socially-based performance does not, of course, constitute a "complete meaning" for the Completeness may be a goal, but it is never attained. Nevertheless, the difference between a film in its can and, as the Ramsay anecdote shows, a film unspooling in performance is significant. Also, if we think of performance not in the lofty Olivier mode but as a type of heightened behaviour in a social setting, we may find a useful and appropriate frame of reference for relating notions of performance to the reception of

There are problems, of course, with a performance-theory approach that assigns a type of populist excess and romantic credence to the power of individual viewers or local audiences to "perform" film images according to their own needs and perspectives. For example, traditional sociology's "uses and gratifications" studies have been rightly criticised for glossing over issues of power and difference within audiences. After all, this mode of performance, circa 1900, takes place in a transitional, proto-commercial culture; it is no longer operating within the mode of folk art. My argument here relies on the statistical likelihood (., statistically across a group of people, and not in every case) that Toronto audiences in general, given the surrounding milieu-of songs, performers, instruments, and neighbours sitting nearby-would be able to use a film showing to gratify some of their cultural needs. A key need would be the public validation of one's own cultural and/or national experience.


As for exhibition and distribution, an examination of the ownership and management of the theatre business within Ontario between 1896 and 1914 reveals . branch plants in full flower. Buffalo's Shea enterprises controlled Toronto vaudeville, and legitimate theatre in the city was dominated by the two major, New York-based outfits, the American Theatre Syndicate and the Shubert organization, both created in the mid-1890s. In addition, New York's Empire circuit, with its popular travelling shows, ruled the burlesque scene at Toronto's raucous Empire, later renamed the Mike Shea, born in Canada but operating from Buffalo, and younger brother Jerry, living in Toronto, controlled three important, ever-larger houses: Shea's, at 91 Yonge Street (1899), Shea's Victoria, at Adelaide (1910), and finally their mammoth Hippodrome, adjacent to City Hall Square (1914).25 Jerry took a leading role in the Toronto theatrical business, wielding considerable influence as the first president of the Toronto Theatre Managers' Association, in the Knights of Columbus, and as the chief negotiator during the 1912 musicians' Yet Jerry was also well known as a Canadian patriot, organizing fundraising and recruiting events at his theatres during the war-significantly, prior to the . entry in 1917. he lived in Toronto continuously from 1899 to his death in Shea represents a long line of . branch-plant managers, and by today's standards his life among the natives was lengthy indeed.

Jerry Shea, however, was a reluctant movie mogul. According to vaudeville historian Gerald Lenton, Shea fought for many years, as late as the war, to keep the "Kinetograph," as he always referred to it, playing only a minor role on his vaudeville Only with the building of the directly competitive Loew's movie house on Yonge Street, in 1913, and perhaps the growing success of neighbourhood movie venues, such as the Garden on College Street near Spadina, at that time some distance from the downtown area, did the Shea's Hippodrome make a solid commitment to movies. So, perhaps ironically, the dominant outfits of . commercial entertainment in Toronto, represented by the Sheas and the syndicates, placed their eggs almost solely in the more predictable stage baskets until the establishment of film "features," the shift to Hollywood, and the breakup of the old, Edison-dominated Motion Pictures Patents Trust, all around 1913, the end of the period under consideration here. Between 1899 and 1914, according to Lenton, the various Shea vaudeville programmes showed fewer than ten films. (Lenton's study also shows how few Canadian vaudeville performers got bookings in Toronto.)

What if Toronto's major theatres had not been dominated by cinephobes, like Shea, but rather by another type of equally brash American: Charles Urban, for instance, with his successfully flamboyant motion picture schemes of the type he presented in London and Paris? When Urban moved to London from the . in 1897, he quickly took over the lethargic Warwick Trading Company, making it one of the most dynamic production, distribution, and exhibition outfits in Europe. Before the war Urban had also launched the innovative Kinemacolor process and opened a state-of-the-art movie theatre in In fact, Urban, operating from London, did more to foster Canadian production than many who lived in Canada, through his producing and exhibiting the 19031906 Living Canada actuality series and, also in 1903, funding the significant production of Hiawatha.

We might further postulate that big-time . entertainment companies kept movies out of Toronto theatres. This situation plays perfectly into the broad theories of communication technology put forward by Brian Winston. In Media, Technology and Society, which examines "the accelerators and brakes, or social necessities and constraints, rather than...the performance of technologies considered in vacua," Winston argues that since the 183Os the development and introduction into the market of all significant media technologies have followed a surprisingly conservative he challenges those boosters of the so-called communications revolution, from the telegraph to the Internet, by showing in detail how slowly those and other technologies have crept into our lives, and outlines a "law," defined as the "suppression of the radical potential" constraining any new technology. Accordingly, new forms of communication media do not come onto the market until the existing technologies, through their controller-owners (epitomised by Bell-AT&T; and Marconi) maximize the potential of the earlier forms and until they have prepared sufficiently to integrate new forms with the least amount of disruption.

So, after 1896, when large-scale enterprises showed little interest in movies, small-time capitalists and local business people took up the challenge. In Ontario, at least, it was poorly capitalized entrepreneurs, city-based or regional, who pushed the movies. The Holland Brothers of Ottawa, exemplars of smalltime, tried to corner the movie business for all of Eastern Canada in the novelty years 1896-1897,31 but quit in frustration when they failed to organize either exchange or exhibition, and couldn't handle the competition. Although linked to Edison and his New York distribution agents, Raff and Gammon, the Hollands received little "international" support, and often trundled along as projectionists and travelling salesmen, bogged down by lack of capital and attending to the smallest details. Andrew Holland's colourful, often frantic letters to New York are filled with complaints about inadequate theatres, local electrical problems, and two-bit scam artists taking up his (It's as if Ted Rogers were called away from his latest take-over deal to cope with a broken cable under a neighbourhood street.)

During Toronto's nickelodeon period, roughly 1906 to 1913, city directories, provincial licence records, and annual police reports indicate that as many as eighty to one hundred storefronts and purpose-built theatres were showing movies According to the Toronto Star, by 22 May 1909 daily attendence had reached fifteen thousand. But the best examples of small-time Ontario business operations were those created by the Griffins and the Aliens. Peter and John Griffin, who launched their Theatorium nickelodeon on Yonge Street in 1906 (the first full-time movie house in the city), quickly expanded their operation to create a small chain. Their "Hide Away, Big Time Circuit, Booking 300 theatres, Parks and Fairs,"34 included the Variety, the Crystal Palace, a storefront Hippodrome, and the Agnes Street, all in downtown Toronto, plus others in Kingston and Peterborough. According to Peter Morris, at one point they operated eleven theatres in Toronto

The rise and fall of the Griffins was swift but significant. They should be considered true promoters of Canadian cinema rather than compradors, not because they featured home-grown product, or built something that lasted, but because they contributed during that time to the sense of possibility for Canadian cinema. Their achievements certainly equal, proportionately in their context, those of the Aliens and Nathan L. Nathanson between 1917 and 1927. Indeed, from the beginning, the Canadian-controlled theatrical sector has seen little in the way of corporate consistency; from the Griffins to Garth Drabinsky's Cineplex Odeon, no empire has lasted more than a few years. This consolidation was consistent with patterns south of the border. Even the Sheas sold out their Buffalo theatres to Zukor's Paramount-Publix in

In 1906 teenage brothers juIe and Jay Alien moved from Pennsylvania to Ontario, and later that same year they opened a "Theatorium" for moving pictures in Brantford. They realized, however, that ownership of isolated, single theatres was insufficient, so in 1908 they expanded to create a film exchange called the Alien Amusement Corporation. Although the Aliens' creative growth became best-known immediately following the war, even in this early period they were making a significant contribution to Ontario cinema culture, especially through the exchange and distribution system that linked them to many independent theatre operators throughout the province. Pendakur emphasizes the local, merchant-capital base of such companies as the Alien Amusement Corporation, which were in competition with companies backed by international finance capital, including Paramount-Famous Players. This discrepancy, according to Pendakur, "set the pattern for dependency."37 Indeed, both the Griffins and the Aliens relied on foreign films and could never raise sufficient capital to fully control any part of the industry. Yet they did manage to affect the balance of ., British, and French films exhibited in the province-a modest achievement, to be sure, but perhaps a taste of difference.


What is the point of all this proto-nationalism? Why does it matter that a Toronto cinema culture existed earlier than usually considered? Does a focus on the role of film lecturers merely parrot the Qubec nationalist school's championing of the bonimenteur phenomenon by arguing for a similar English-Canadian tradition?38 Is this simply a form of wishful thinking, considering that Canadian screens were dominated by British, French, and American productions, and that Ontario lecturers, such as Smily and Ramsay, could hardly be regarded as equivalents of the bonimenteur, who played a much more important role in the total "performance" of the films? This is especially true in the sense of appropriation as used by Germain Lacasse. The special function of the bonimenteur in Quebec, argues Lacasse, was to appropriate from one cultural form to another, to foster a change via an active take-over. The Ontario lecturers, such as Smily and Ramsay, could hardly be regarded as operating in this way; the functions they performed were much weaker. These are questions that demand further historical research and theorization. The term bonimenteur is provocative and might prove a fruitful transplant into other social/national contexts. What elements did Ontario share with Quebec, as another outside consumer of . culture?

Even without a figure comparable to the bonimenteur, Toronto sound practices in the form of music and lecturers-what Germain Lacasse identifies in general terms as "oral cinema"39-encouraged English Canadian audiences "to read against the grain." Just as the Quebecois viewed Biograph products from the ., Charles Urban's fare from Britain, and Pathe films from France with mixed reactions, so too did audiences in Toronto, Kingston, and Hamilton look at their screens somewhat askance. Moving Picture World's quip suggests at least that Canadian audiences were not totally passive when offered British fare. Perhaps they were happy enough to enjoy their popular entertainment on Saul's two levels, but what about new Canadians from southern or eastern Europe, for example, watching . movies? How many levels to be negotiated then? Even societies much older than Canada have taken up . culture as a foil to their own, or as a counterweight to other imperial influences. For example, the post1945 cultural climate in France and Britain illustrates both the liberating and oppressive effects of . popular films and music on European popular culture. Today, the same complicated embrace of . cinema reverberates on screens from Taiwan to Nairobi.

Saul's notion of a culture of overlap, characterized by a living on or within levels is nothing new to cultural studies or the reception and discourse theory at the heart of much contemporary media study. A feminist "reading against the grain," or Stuart Hall's "negotiated and oppositional readings," applied by audiences to popular texts provide only the best known theoretical attempts to grapple with viewers' complex viewing Audiences of 1912, at Toronto's neighbourhood Red Mill, Park, or Garden cinemas, watched Marie Dressier in Chaplin's Tillie's Punctured Romance and Mary Pickford in just Like a Woman. Why were they participating in any less significant way in a perceived Canadian cultural milieu than audiences today seeing Mike Myers cavorting as Austin Powers, hearing Celine Dion sing the theme from Disney's The Lion King or watching Shania do Nashville on the CBC? just because audiences see traits of Scarborough, Montral, or Timmins in these modern performers hardly makes them Canuck in any "essential" way. The performers are also celebrities, shaped by, and richly cultivated in, the ways of the . media business. Nevertheless, despite the domination of English Canada by . culture-perhaps today even more so than in the past-and with fewer British or French counter-forces than eighty years ago, Canada does have a movie industry.


On 20 June 1914, all the sectors of the Ontario film business and many of their secondary suppliers came together for the Ontario Motion Picture Exhibition, a large, week-long trade show at Toronto's Mutual Street Arena. The exhibits were open to the public and included premiere, feature-length screenings from several . branch-plant producers, including the Canadian Universal Company of New York. Here was a national industry, and perhaps a national cinema as well. Certainly small-scale, yet it based itself on concepts of modern entertainment, modern commercial methods of exchange, marketing, branding, and above all modern manufacturing. The local media gave the exhibition daily coverage, both reviewing the day's happenings and promoting upcoming events. This is perhaps not surprising, given that, according to the Toronto World, four thousand people had attended on 24 June. The papers thus treated the exhibition as a story as much about business as about entertainment. "The show will be a comprehensive display of the various industries that are interested in the motion picture business," stated the World.

The Arena has been converted into a splendid exhibition, the centre being devoted to exhibitors, which will include the National Cash Register Co., . Williams Co., who will supply the usual musical program for the week with one of their famous organs, Canadian Union Electric Co,...Wyanoke Publishing Co., Ontario Mayottawa Fire Extinguishing Co., and the various motion picture film

On the one hand, we might argue that this event functioned as an elaborate mechanism to push . films into a Canadian market, a market probably seen by the Americans as a British stronghold, although using British films that "cannot even please the Canadians." On the other hand, what was evolving was a locally-based, small-scale industry using British, French, and American products to build local business within a Toronto context. just as audiences might have been using . films to justify their wants and ways of life, local companies, such as piano-maker Williams and Wyanoke Publishing, were employing . products to build their business.

My goal here is not to dislodge the dependency theory from its rightful place as the central discourse in the political economy of Canadian cinema. Rather, it is to shed more light on this little-known period, in order to remind us that, even at that time, Ontario cinematic dependency was a complex phenomenon. Moreover, a close look at those "prewar" years reveals that an EnglishCanadian film culture in Ontario flourished prior to any significant film production in Canada. Although the cinema industry at the time was dominated by . and French films, English Canadians going to the movies were engaged in what we now recognize as a cheerful cultural discourse of the split personality.

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I would like to thank Marta Braun and Charlie Keil for their support of my research and for stimulating discussion in formulating the issues discussed in the foregoing article.

1. John Ralston Saul, Reflections of a Siamese Twin (Toronto: Viking, 1997), 301; emphasis added.

2. Saul's book has proved itself something of a best-seller. It has also ruffled the feathers of some professional nineteenth-century historians. For a good analysis of its strengths and weaknesses see Jamie Swift, 'The Last Intellectual?" Queen's Quarterly, (1998): 65-71.

3. See, for example, Jack Granatstein, Canada's Army: Waging War and Keeping the Peace (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1992), and Pierre Berton, Vimy (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1986). Of course, such views play across a pattern of consciousness very differently experienced in Quebec thanks to the struggles over conscription. Arguments over the significance of the war in general, and Vimy in particular, have a long history. I only wish to question this emphasis on a "first-cause" from which all Canadian sense of worth and culture stems.

4. "Structure of feeling" functions as a key concept in the work of Williams, first outlined in his Preface to Film, with Michael Orrom (London: Film Drama, 1954). A lengthy discussion of the term appears in Politics and Letters: Interviews with the New Left Review (London: Verso, 1979), 156-173.

5. Peter Morris, Embattled Shadows: A History of Canadian Cinema 1895-1939 (Montral: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1978).

6. In the . the period known as "early cinema" is usually considered to end in 1915. see, for example, Eileen Bowser, The Transformation of Cinema: 1907-1915 (New York: Scribners, 1994). Using this chronology in Canada, however, takes little account of the country's momentous entry into the Great War. This is especially crucial if the emphasis is placed on general social and commercial factors as the basis for a national cinema rather than production per se.

7. Mary Carbine, "The Finest Outside the Loop': Motion Picture Exhibition in Chicago's Black Metropolis, 1905-1928," in Richard Abel, ed. Silent Film (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996), 234-262. Gregory Waller, "Sleighbells and Moving Pictures: On the Trail of D. W. Robertson," in Richard Abel and Rick Altman, eds. The Sounds of Early Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001), 123.

8. See Andrew Higson, "The Concept of a National Cinema," Screen (1989): 36-46, and Melanie Nash, "Where Are You Going To, My Pretty Maid?: Norma Shearer and the Cultural Uses of a 'Canadian' Star," Canadian Journal of Film Studies (1998): 3-29.

9. Manjunath Pendakur. Canadian Dreams and American Control: The Political Economy of the Canadian Film Industry (Toronto: Garamond, 1990).

10. For one survey of piano making, focusing on the Weber company, see John Hall, "One Hundred Years of Piano Making in Kingston," Historic Kingston, 39 (1991): .

11. Royal Alexandra Theatre "Accounts Books" for the years 1909-1912, FILMR8884, Toronto Reference Library.

12. See, for example, the Whaley, Royce Company "Band Catalogs" #11, 15, 20 (1907), .W34, Baldwin Room, Toronto Reference Library.

13. See daily reports in the Toronto World, 7 August-2 September 1912.

14. See "Herbert Henry Godfrey," sheet music folder, Baldwin Room, Toronto Reference Library. Sales figures for "Land of the Maple" are taken from Helmut Kallman, A History of Music in Canada, 1534-1914 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1960), 259.

15. "Exhibition Song at Shea's. Take me to Toronto Fair.... The orchestra under Mr. Gus Nauman's leadership is heard to particular advantage in this number," Toronto Star, 2 September 1915. "No Pro-German Films. Police will Interfere with Insidious Attempts in Toronto.... A modification of the by-law relating to moving picture houses is in sight. This law forbids the singing of songs in shows which have not a theatre license," Toronto Star, 8 September 1915.

16. General information on Smily from Betty Keller, Pauline: A Biography of Pauline Johnson (Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre, 1981), 67, and from the following newspaper fragments: Toronto Star, 13 June 1899; Toronto Star, 27 june 1899; Daily Telegram, 27 February 1900; Toronto Star, 27 February 1900.

17. See Program, Canada's Brave Sons, National Patriotic Fund, ca. 1900, Microfiche Roll 2, Microfilm PT125wTOPT180c.), Toronto Reference Library.

18. The standard work examining these contradictory nationalist movements remains Carl Berger's The Sense of Power: Studies in the Ideas of Canadian Imperialism, 1867-1914 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1970).

19. Hector Charlesworth, More Candid Chronicles (Toronto: Macmillan, 1928), 341.

20. Canada's Brave Sons.

21. Rick Altman's convincing essay, 'The Silence of the Silents," Musical Quarterly, (1996): 648-715, undercuts the easy cliche, "silent films were never shown silent," and argues how many films were in fact shown completely silent. That does not, however, lessen the importance of sound practices at other times and places. For a general critique of Altman, see Donald Crafton, "Playing the Pictures: lntermediality and Early Cinema Patronage," Iris 27 (1999): 152-162.

22. Thanks to the anonymous reader of an early version of this article who drew my attention to the problems of "complete meanings."

23. I take this notion from the performance theorist, Richard Schechner. See in particular his Essays on Performance Theory, 1970-1976 (New York: Drama Books, 1977).

24. A good sense of who pulled the strings in these theatre circuits can be gleaned from reports of the 1912 Toronto musicians' strike. See in particular Toronto World, 14 August 1912: 1, and 2 September 1912: 1. The best overview of Toronto theatre ownership remains Gerald Lenton, Vaudeville in Toronto, 1890-1920 (. diss., University of Toronto, 1983).

25. For the best examination of Toronto movie theatres, see Robert Gutteridge, Magic Moments: First 20 Years of Moving Pictures in Toronto (1894-1914) (Whitby, ON: Gutteridge-Pratley, 2000).

26. Toronto World, 2 September 1912: 1.

27. Lenton, 178. See also the Buffalo Evening Telegram, 3 January 1925, which includes a photo of Shea, reproduced in Gutteridge, fig. 151.

28. Lenton, 212-213.

29. Urban's papers, which have not yet received the attention they deserve, are housed in London's National Museum of Science and Industry. Thanks to Luke McKernan at the British Film Institute for assistance, and see his A Yank in Britain: The Lost Memoirs of Charles Urban, Film Pioneer (Hastings: Projection Box, 1999).

30. Brian Winston, Media, Technology and Society (London: Routledge, 1998), 15.

31. Charles Musser applies the term "novelty year" to 1897, to describe the first flush of activity after the Lumiere and Edison premieres, and before the Spanish-American and Boer Wars provided a new sense of purpose for moving pictures. see Musser, The Emergence of Cinema: The American Screen to 1907 (New York: Scribners, 1990).

32. The Holland brothers' papers are housed at the Harvard Business School. Thanks to Marta Braun of Ryerson University for bringing them to my attention.

33. A careful reading of ads and reviews in Toronto papers for the period under discussion reveals that most of these theatres did not advertise. Annual police reports show about the same number of pool halls as cinemas during the period. Annual Report of the Chief Constable, 1910. Box #048. RG 009, City of Toronto Archives.

34. Lenton, 487.

35. Moving Picture World 5 (1909): 556, 619, quoted in Morris, 40.

36. See the Buffalo Courier Express, 13 April 1944: 18.

37. See Pendakur, 51-56. He also quotes from Kirwan Cox, "The Rise and Fall of the Aliens," unpublished, . Cox's research later appeared as "The Rise and Fall of the Aliens: The War for Canada's Movie Theatres," Lonergan Review 6 (2000) 44-81.

38. The bonimenteur is best described in Germain Lacasse, "Du boniment quebecois comme pratique resistante," fris 22 (1996): 53-66, and his Le Bonimenteur de vues animees, (Paris/Quebec: Meridiens Klincksieck/Nota bene, 2000). See also the special issue of Iris 27 (1999) on sound and early cinema. Cassell translates boniment as "quack's show" or "humbug."

39. See Germain Lacasse, "The Double Silence of the War to End all Wars,'" in The Sounds of Early Cinema, 205-212.

40. Stuart Hall, "Encoding and Decoding in the TV Discourse," Occasional Paper 7, Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, University of Birmingham, 1973. Extract reprinted as "Encoding/Decoding," in Culture, Media and Language, Hall ef al, eds. (London: Hutchinson, 1980), 128-38.

41. Toronto World, 20 June 1914: 3.

PETER STEVEN continues to look for evidence of Owen A. Smily and the D'Alesandro Orchestra. He is writing the No-Nonsense Guide to World Media, scheduled to appear in 2004.

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Posted in Business Post Date 10/28/2019






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